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Livelihood Opportunities Through NAPS in SMO Job Role

EPN Desk03 May 2021 09:20

sewing machine

Sewing Machine Operations involves stitching of components of garments together using a sewing machine. The role of a sewing machine operator is very critical to the industry as it enhances the quality of the product. A Sewing Machine Operator, also called a ‘Stitcher or Machinist’ is an important job-role associated with Apparel sector. The primary responsibility of a machinist is to stitch/ sew fabric, fur, or synthetic materials to produce apparels.

A Sewing Machine Operator (SMO) can be employed by a large, small or micro size sewing product manufacturing business. These businesses produce a wide range and variety of products from clothing and fashion items to leather products, soft furnishing, knitwear, sports and medical textiles. The SMO role is fundamental to the production process right across this diverse, multi sector industry. Depending on the product and company size, a SMO may work alone or as part of a team on one aspect within the sewing process or on various operations.  The role may involve occupations such as lock stitching, blind hemming, overlocking, cover stitch, linking, etc.

Apparel Market Size

It is estimated that there are around 12 million people employed in the apparel sector in India (and many work from home), 430 million are thought to work in fashion and textile production across the world. This means roughly one in eight workers at least is involved in the fashion and textile industry. However, Indian apparel market is expected to reach 85 billion US dollar by 2021, according to the India Business of Fashion Report released by research firm Deloitte India.

Improving practical skills of job seekers through apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is the perfect way to provide real-world work experience with a qualification to match. Plus, there’s the added bonus of no tuition fees. Apprenticeships are different from school/ college and training because you have the responsibility to complete tasks that contribute to real situations. Not only does an apprenticeship equip you with valuable work experience and a qualification, you will also acquire and develop a range of ‘soft and professional skills’ to accelerate your career. Essentially, these are skills that characterise relationships with other people, or about how you approach life and work. This is opposed to hard skills, which are more job-specific and technical. With this in mind, below we explain the soft skills you can gain through an apprenticeship.

Role of NAPS in apparel sector

Apprenticeship programme is designed to help job seekers gain hands-on experience within an industry and to learn new practical skills while earning a qualification. National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) extends an excellent opportunity for those candidates aspiring to get into the job role, wherein they would earn while learning. NAPS provide structured training with an employer. Apprentices learn from master tailors, developing skills in hand and machine sewing, pattern cutting and garment construction. It may be possible for tailors and dressmakers in larger companies to be promoted to work on more complex garments or supervise the work of others. NAPS has been specifically designed by the industry’s leading businesses and supported by the sector’s companies to provide the next generation of apparel employees with the skills they need in textile production and manufacturing. The programme covers the main requirements of working in textile production and includes elements of off-the-job learning, blended with on-the-job practical learning. Those working at the haute couture level of the market may also have the opportunity to work abroad, particularly in cities such as New York, Paris and Milan.

Training opportunities

The Apparel, Made-Ups & Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council imparts 270 Hours of training, in which the candidate receives practical training of 190 Hours and 80 Hours of theoretical classes under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) initiative of Government of India through their training partners across the nation. The candidate is certified on the successful completion of the course. This training not only ensures industry recognition, but also increases the confidence of the candidate.

Government initiatives for Clothing Industry

Rising Government focus and favourable policies is leading to growth in the textiles and clothing industry. The Ministry of Textiles is encouraging investment through increasing focus on schemes such as Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (TUFS). Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a bid to promote the textile industry, proposed Mega Investment Textile Region and Apparel Park (MITRA) scheme for creation of world-class facilities while presenting the Union Budget 2021-22. At least seven textile parks will be developed over the next three year under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to help create employment opportunities. Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, a central government scheme, aims to promote local businesses and help India become a self-reliant country. The grant to the textiles and clothing sector in Union Budget 2021-22 is Rs 3,614.64 crore, about 10% higher than the revised Budget amount of Rs 3,300 crore in 2020-21. The Budget also puts emphasis on infrastructure development and research & capacity building as the grant for these sectors has been increased by about 43.7% and 77.5%, respectively, compared to last year.

Future Jobs Opportunity

The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for man-made fibres and technical textiles with a total outlay of Rs 10,683 crore will help the textile industry become globally competitive, attract large investments and boost employment generation. Moreover, to achieve the target of $350 billion from the current size of $167 billion, our manufacturing sector has to grow in double digits on a sustained basis. There may also be opportunities for those with the right skills and experience to work for specialist retailers, garment designers or manufacturers. Those with a good level of experience in tailoring or dressmaking could go on to teach others or become self-employed, working on a freelance basis.


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